Hurray for 2014! I hope you have a great start of this brand new set of 365 days, full of books and bookish pleasures. As always, I love starting the year by letting my inner nerd out, with some very serious stats about my reading. Please allow me 5 minutes of navel-gazing before I give you the title of the 5 books I loved best last year.
Uh-oh, turns out it will be quicker than I thought. I read the same numbers of books (60) and the breakdown seems roughly identifical with 2012: about a third of them mysteries, slightly less than last year, that has been replaced by slightly more non-fiction (a quarter), slightly more than half by British-American writers, slightly more than half by female writers. I have read very few books written before 1945 and very few from outside the American and European continents. Sigh.
Which is not to say I have completely failed in my resolutions. I have tried more daring endeavours in fields I usually ignore: religious books, science books, horror, etc. I have made my way through quite a number of French novels (a genre I previously snobbed) with pleasant surprises. I started the Bible and followed a number of Yale courses, but I didn’t quite go as far as I’d thought. The big factor in 2013 was my kind-of-unexpected pregnancy, which made me fall back on comfort reads (I was plagued with nausea for 4-5 months, which effectively curtails any difficult reading (or any reading at all during my commute, which I replaced by many great audiobooks). I must say that Harry Potter was a great comfort during this period. I really look forward to reading this series aloud to my elder son in a few years’ time. I bet (it is a sure bet) that he will love it too.
So, without further delay, here are my 5 favorites books of 2013, in no particular order:
- Chantal Thomas, Les adieux à la reine (Eng: Farewell, My Queen) (2002)
- Curtis Sittenfeld, American Wife (2008)
- Janet Malcolm, In the Freud Archives (1983)
- Marie N’Diaye, Trois Femmes Puissantes (2009)
- Aldous Huxley, The Devils of Loudun (1952)
I have the impression that my choice of books for 2013 reflects a more diverse reading panorama. I hope I can read some more by Malcolm, N’Diaye and Thomas very soon.
2014 will certainly be different because of the new baby, who will effectively limit my (reading and blogging) time, my visits to the library, and my exposition to new books. As I have just been given a Kindle, I think I will concentrate more on public domain classics. I hope (one can only hope) that I will get to read a lot of books that have been staying unread on my shelves for some time (I have a great selection of Persephone), or that I will fall back on classic Cluedo-style mysteries for my comfort reading. I also wish to continue with my Bible project as it was very enlightening last year. We’ll see!